The hangover soup

Let me start by saying that I’m not joking here. This soup is very real and it has a magical ability to make you feel better after well,a long and a little bit intoxicating night.

It’s also just a warm and tasty sauerkraut soup that very comforting in winter times, that my grandma used to make for dinner very often when growing up (sauerkraut is quintessential to Lithuanian cuisine) but that’s no where as exiting to read as about it’s healing effects for hangover.

There are numerous versions of this soup in Lithuania, but it always has sauerkraut which is the ingredient here that makes all the magic happen. Indeed this soup is so popular that it is very frequently served on the second day of the wedding for breakfast (a traditional Lithuanian wedding is a three day affair, though few last this long nowadays) to kick all the guests back into the partying mood again.

When I first set of to make this soup, I had the best intentions of making my own sauerkraut for it, after all my grandma has been making it that for decades (never once bought it) so why could’t I do. Well, that was a good idea at least, as my cabbages with carrots fermenting comfortably on the heater never got to the point of sauerkraut and after a couple of times I did give up. Afterwards my grandma explained that not all cabbages are suitable for it, so I might try next year again.

Anyway, one of the reasons I wanted to make my own sauerkraut was that the one I remember eating at home was much sweeter (and nicer) comparing to the one I could by in supermarket here, hence when making such soup at home in Lithuania I think my grandma had to use much less sugar than me to achieve the sweet sour effect, but it’s the end result that matters (which I did achieve eventually).

I should also note that same as most dishes involving tomatoes is some capacity, the taste is much better the second day, so it is perfect to make in advance to re-heat. So without further talk, here’s the recipe:

5.0 from 6 reviews
The hangover (sauerkraut) soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: soup, entree
Serves: 6-8
  • 150g bacon, diced
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 500 grams sauerkraut
  • 2.5 litres water
  • 2-4 tablespoons sugar
  • salt
  • freshly grounded pepper
  • Creme fraiche
  1. Heat a heavy based pot and start frying the bacon. When it releases enough fat add the onions and gently fry for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the grated carrots and continue to fry for 3 more minutes.
  3. Then add the tomato paste and fry for 30 seconds.
  4. Pour over the the water, add the sauerkraut, bring to boil.
  5. Add the sugar (start with 2 tablespoons) and let it simmer for 30-50 minutes.
  6. Taste, if it's too sour add more sugar, salt, pepper. and simmer for 10 more minutes.
  7. Taste, and if needed adjust the seasoning again.
  8. Serve hot with a dollop of creme fraiche! Enjoy!

17 thoughts on “The hangover soup

  1. Haha, what an interesting cure. In Germany, it’s herring. Cold herring for breakfast, because we call hangovers “tomcats”, and feed them a tomcat breakfast. Works wonders!

  2. Corned Beef and Cabbage, Kimchi your Sauekraut Soup am I detecting a theme with cabbage’s restorative properties LOL I know I will love this soup. I am sure to make it even more meal like some sausage in there would be a nice addition

  3. This sounds delicious! I love cabbage in soups and this one sounds really good… do you think this would work okay with homemade sauerkraut? We can’t buy sauerkraut in stores here… I would love to try making this sometime! Thanks for sharing this :)

  4. I’ll have to print and keep this recipe and remember to paste it on the fridge door every Sunday morning… Not that I’m hung over every Sunday morning, but because I love soup on Sundays 😀 It looks very tasty!

  5. this looks awesome and I pinned it so I never forget it! I might make it this weekend, even if I don’t get trashed! Have you ever heard of Kapusta, which is a cream of saurkraut soup? Very delicious!!!

  6. Where has this soup been all my life? :) This truly is brilliant. Thanks for the recipe. I will be sure to try it out in the unfortunate circumstance that I do need to nurse a hangover.

  7. Very interessting post! I am a noob in east european cooking, lithuania is a very unknown country to us. I feel our austrian preferences towards food should be pretty much the same as the Lithuanian.

    You got me with this recipe at the mention of sauerkraut. I love love sauerkraut and I havent had any in 2 years! can you imagine that?
    My mum makes 2-3 batches over the year, in fact I had written a post about the making off Sauerkraut with her included in the picture. lol

    What do you call the cream you add on top to garnish the soup? My ukrainian friend explained me once that in their country they use special cream. I forgot the name though. So I was wondering if that cream is special.

    No wonder this soup is an excellent detoxifier, sauerkraut is full of Vitamin C. My favourite pick up too! 😉

  8. I do believe you when you say that this soup is perfect to remedy the hangover! It looks delicious. I would gladly have it even without the hangover lol! I am sure a bowl of this soup would comfort my throat that’s bothering me the last couple of days!

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